The temperature is in the mid-40s. It’s a dreary, early spring day on the east coast. It’s not exactly the type of day you would be running to the ballpark to watch a game. That is, unless, the pitching matchup features Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey.
Below, you will find an actual text conversation that took place between Joe. D and myself at about 2:00 pm this afternoon:
I said “he looks pretty damn good” after he blew a 97mph heater past Bryce Harper to end the third inning. It may only be one game, but if you didn’t know any better, you would think Strasburg was the pitcher that was pitching in his first official game since coming off Tommy John surgery, not Harvey.
We didn’t need to watch an E:60 on ESPN to let us know that Harvey was back. Although, the fact that he agreed to take part in an E:60 shows why Harvey is successful on the mound. How many other players would have the balls to put that type of pressure on themselves? And the fact that ESPN even approached him to do it is equally as telling.
There were a lot of questions as to why ESPN would have run that episode on Harvey when he seemingly has accomplished so little in his short time in the major leagues (dudes were straight sipping haterade on Twitter). The answer is simple for anyone with two eyes to see—he’s a special talent. He has “it,” and every other cliche superlative you want to use to describe him.
On the cover of Baseball Maverick by Steve Kettmann, it states “How Sandy Alderson Revitalized Baseball and Revived the New York Mets.” I didn’t read the book, but the second half of that statement is clearly false—it was Matt Harvey who single-handedly revived the New York Mets and their fan base. Harvey is the type of player that a city and team rally around—the type of player that says get on my back, and everyone else get the eff out of my way.
The fan base had slowly been getting the life sucked out of themselves since 2006 until Harvey arrived on the scene. Now we have #HarveyDay, and all the Mets fans can be found in front of their television sets every fifth day when he pitches.
Much like Batman gave desperate Gothamites the hope of better times, Harvey has done the same for Mets fans. As fans, we felt as if the ground was ripped out from under our feet when we heard Harvey had to undergo TJ surgery. It was a quick reminder of how cruel this game and life could be as we watched a young man who had taken the game by storm, brought to his knees.
I believe everything happens for a reason, and as Thomas Wayne once said “Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up.” Mets fans have certainly learned to pick themselves back up over the years, and after nine strikeouts in his first game back, it seems Matt Harvey has as well.
I’m sorry Mr. Kettmann, but I have to disagree. If anyone revitalized the Mets, it was Matt Harvey, not Sandy Alderson.